April 23, 2013 9:02 am
Girl Scouts might be best known for their yearly cookie sale, but the organization is making strides to bring their girls into the tech world. A Girl Scouts chapter in Los Angeles recently added a merit badge for game design. Salon reports:
The California-based chapter partnered with Women in Games International to design the requirements and curriculum for the patch. And while the new focus area isn’t recognized organization-wide yet, they hope that will change, soon: “Fostering interest in technology and video game development in females of all ages … is the main inspiration for working towards a national badge,” Sheri Rubin, president and CEO of Design, Direct, Deliver and a member of WIGI’s steering committee, told NBC News in an email.
Women in Games International aims to close the gender gap in game design, both in terms of who’s doing the designing and the way women are depicted in games. They hope that by starting girls early with the skills needed to develop games, they can bring them into the workplace ready to compete.
The merit badge will involve girls planning and designing their own game, as well as learning a bit of code with Gamestar Mechanic—a popular video game design software.
About a month ago, the Boy Scouts introduced a similar badge, requiring scouts to analyze different games, learn several terms and design their own game and test it on their peers. Unlike that badge, the Girl Scouts badge is not officially recognized by the Girl Scouts of America just yet. “Once our patch has been proven effective we will work to create what is necessary to get a nationally recognized badge in place for all Girl Scouts starting with those in 4th through 6th grade and eventually expanding through all levels encompassing 7th through 12th grade,” Rubin told NBC.
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